In addition to its extensive investments in technology, BT is also keenly focused on customer experience -- in particular, enhancing the relationship subscribers have with BT, CTIO Howard Watson of the UK's largest network operator told Broadband Forum attendees today. And just as operators today are more prone to sharing once closely guarded tech secrets, partnerships between providers will only further enhance subscriber experience and the industry's overall reputation, he said.
"Customers want more and more bandwidth, more and more choice and they want to spend ever less for that," he said, noting how the industry had changed over the last decade. "In 2007, you could build a fixed broadband network and be sure the majority of data would be carried end-to-end across your network. Yes, there was mobile, but that was a different network and a separate investment stream."
With One Goal in Common, Partnerships Make Sense
Since most service providers agree that enhanced customer experience is their top priority, it makes sense for operators to pool best practices, test results and other information that enhance the overall industry and reduce all operators' costs, BT CTIO Howard Watson told a packed house at Broadband World Forum today. (Photo: Niall Hunt)
Now customers want seamless connectivity on both fixed and mobile networks.
"Then, we were looking at fiber and radio from a WiFi perspective. At the same time EE was building out its 4G network," he recalled. "Now everything has converged. For customers, it has become about how they get connectivity as a whole," Watson told a packed keynote room.
He pointed out that the average monthly spend on consumer communication services fell 1.2% last year -- the first drop since 2013. At the same time, demand for bandwidth is growing 40% to 45% a year.
"This is not just a trend in the UK but one that is true across the globe," he said. "The question we have asked is, 'how do we respond, how do we succeed and continue to invest in the networks we need for the future?'"
Watson explained: "At BT we have redefined our strategy based on differentiation. It is about continuing to differentiate ourselves from our competition through better services in an increasingly converged way."
He also has a message for the industry: "Last year I asked vendors to think end-to-end about customers. Today, I have supplemented that by saying we, as network operators, need to work together beyond the standards bodies we work on. We need to share the results of field trials, understand the opportunities and business cases, then work together to deliver great things for customers."
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